Thanks to technology, speech therapy has become much more accessible to children, parents, and teachers. There are now countless apps and games to help kids (and adults) improve their communication skills. Here are some of the best on the market.
What are the best apps for speech therapy?
One of the best speech therapy apps for toddlers who need help with verbs, two-word combinations, counting, and concepts. Described as action-packed, this is one of the engaging speech therapy apps for iPad users. It includes 20 awesome mini-games that help kids have fun with numbers.
- 20 puzzles and mini-games that teach quantity, order, and sorting
- An awesome sing-along counting song
- An assisted counting guide that helps toddlers count all the way to 100
2. DAF Pro
DAF Professional was created to help people who stammer or have a neurological disease such as Parkinson’s Disease. It helps people to slow their rate of speech which makes it clearer to others. It works by enabling someone to hear his or her own speech in an altered manner. This disruption to the normal auditory feedback loop causes the speaker to slow down. Research has shown that DAF will be of benefit to approximately a third of people who have a stammer or Parkinson’s.
3. Articulation Station
Considered “one of the most comprehensive articulation application apps designed for children,” Articulation Station was created by a certified Speech-Language Pathologist for parents, SLPs and other educators to help work with children and adults with speech sound delays. It is a comprehensive articulation program offering practice at the word, sentence and story levels in 22 sounds in the English language.
4. Fluency Tracker
One of the best speech therapy apps for the parents of children who stutter, Fluency Tracker aims to increase children’s positive feelings about speech, as well as reduce avoidance behavior. Users can enter data regarding how often the child stutters throughout the day, when and where this occurs, and with whom the child was speaking. They can also record when and why the child avoided speaking. This data is processed to provide an ongoing overview of a child’s anxiety and attitudes toward speaking so that the speech therapist can better customize his or her therapy.
5. Talking Pierre the Parrot
Talking Pierre the Parrot is a virtual pet who repeats everything your child says in a funny voice. Although this isn’t a dedicated speech therapy app, it’s a great way to motivate your child to articulate correctly so Pierre sounds good. This app is lots of fun for kids because it is less structured. Consider using this app as positive reinforcement after more intense sessions.
Splingo is a high-quality, interactive game designed by Speech and Language Therapists/Pathologists to help children learn listening and language skills. The game is instructional based whereby the user needs to follow instructions to complete a variety of tasks. The app “offers children a way to learn listening and language skills by playing a fun, interactive game.”
7. Speech Tutor
Speech Tutor has long been one of the best selling apps for improving articulation. This app has dozens of videos that allow the user to see the placement of the tongue inside the mouth. The app also allows the user to record audio and video as the user views the videos.
Articulation decks come with the following:
- 33 phoneme decks (Levels: Word, Phrase, Sentence; Positions: Initial, Medial, Final)
- Nearly 5000 different cards
- 36 minimal pair decks
- Use minimal pair decks and phoneme decks at the same time
- See multiple clients at a time
- “Kid Friendly” mode and “Clean” mode for older clients
- Detailed data tracking with line graphs, bar graphs, and word charts to send home for practice
- Record videos and save them to client profiles to view progress
- View articulation videos during sessions to help with placement
- Add/Remove decks during a session
Why do people play games in speech therapy?
Games help make speech therapy more enjoyable by keeping it light and memorable. There are many ways to make games and apps educational for kids with speech challenges, such as doing a Q&A round while going over instructions, making the lesson more interactive by participating yourself, working on sentence structure as you talk about what’s happening during the game (“I rolled a four” or “She picked a blue card”), helping kids build vocabulary by going over the words they need to learn before and after the game, and providing a chance for kids to learn social language skills by taking turns and verbalizing each step of the game. Using apps and playing games at home or in the classroom is one way to make speech therapy more fun for everyone involved.